Shopping has become a favorite pastime of many people lately. This is in part due to advertising that is specifically designed to target your emotions by claiming a product will improve them in some way. People don’t just shop when they are upset though, in fact shopping when happy is more likely to occur. Getting a raise may cause you to celebrate by purchasing new shoes. This is okay if you are financially able to afford such spending but many are not.
Take Time to Think
One of the key steps to stopping emotional spending is to avoid impulsive purchases. We have all been there, we go to the store for one item and while we are there we see an item we just absolutely have to have. The rule for these purchases should always be to wait at least one day before buying the item. The reason for this is after a day most people have completely forgotten about the item. If after the one day wait you still want the item you need to consider whether you can truly afford it. If you cannot afford it, hold off on the purchase a few weeks or months until you can.
A company’s main goal in creating advertisements is to target your emotional response to their product. Once you have an emotional need for the product you are more likely to purchase it because you feel you need it. One of the simplest ways to avoid being sucked into emotional purchases is to avoid television advertisements. If you are watching television when an ad comes on you can either change the channel or leave the room until the commercial break is over.
Stick to a Budget
This is one of the easiest ways to avoid making emotional purchases. Create a budget each time you go to a store and do not go over it. One way to do this is to use cash rather than a debit or credit card and only take the amount you need with you. This will prevent you from buying unnecessary items as you will not have a way to buy them while you are in the store. People who stick to a budget in their everyday lives are less likely to use personal loans.
Find Something Else to Do
If your usual activity to do with friends is walking around the mall, you may want to look for alternative activities such as going to lunch or going to a park. Having activities focused around shopping contributes to emotional spending as well as overspending. By letting your friends know that you are trying to spend less and changing the activities you participate in with them, you will be controlling your spending habits.